Backpack Video Journalism at International Center for Journalists

WASHINGTON, DC, 1 March 2011 — I conducted a Backpack Journalism Workshop for eight new fellows at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in the nation’s capital prior to their departure for assignments overseas. During the all-day workshop, we discussed Controlling Idea, Dramatic Arc, the ABCs of the visual language, character-driven documentary and other components […]

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Yin/Yang of Backpack Video Journalism

WASHINGTON, DC, 26 February 2011 – The technological advances driving the revolutionary model that we refer to as backpack video journalism enable a single practitioner to exchange ideas and information as never before in the history of mankind. But there is a dark side to this methodology, which empowers lone practitioners to document and disseminate […]

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The Technology-Driven Revolution

WASHINGTON, DC, 23 February 2011 — I got a query this morning from a person inquiring about my “Backpack Documentary Expedition: Nicaragua,” coming up this summer. She was concerned that her lack of experience with new digital cameras might be a stumbling block on the journey. Here’s part of my response: “The methodology that we […]

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Essential QuickTip #8: Keep It Clean!

LITCHFIELD BEACH, South Carolina, 26 November 2010 — Especially because we usually work alone, backpack journalists have to pay attention to every detail. There’s nobody around to run through a checklist with us. So every time you pull the camera out of the bag, clean the lens. I know it sounds silly, but we get […]

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Essential QuickTip #6: Stick These In Your Ears

WASHINGTON, 18 NOVEMBER 2010 — I can’t tell you how many of my backpack journalism students lose critical visual and audio information because they are not connected to their characters with headphones. Once your character is out of sight and you are not listening to him/her over the wireless microphone, you’ve cut yourself off not […]

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Former Bush Press Secretary Criticizes Media

WASHINGTON, DC, 5 November 2010 — Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino (right) spent much of last night’s discussion criticizing U.S. media for alleged misbehavior. I found this absolutely extraordinary, coming from a person who worked for George W. Bush, the president who misled the country into what many consider the greatest single catastrophe […]

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